Research Letter Surveys Treatment of Hyperlipidemia in Primary Prevention

In a research letter, Michael E. Johansen, M.D., of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and colleagues used an anonymous survey of physicians to examine statin prescribing strategies in relationship to baseline risk of coronary heart disease (CHD). (Online First)

Of the 750 surveys that researchers sent to physicians, 202 of the surveys met inclusion criteria. The survey included six vignette-style questions involving patients without CHD and different baseline risks for whom a physician might consider treatment of hyperlipidemia, according to the study.

“We found that physicians consider medication for patients with low Framingham risk scores for whom available evidence does not support outcome benefit,” the study concludes. “Overall, our study suggests that physicians may not adequately consider a patient’s cardiovascular risk when prescribing statins in primary prevention.”

(JAMA Intern Med. Published online March 11, 2013. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.2797.